Is lying a sin?

Is lying a sin?  Is it wrong?  Some say, whithout hesitation, “Hello, of course it is. What are you thinking?”  Others may be thinking “Yeah, but…”.  (If this is you, keep reading.)

Here are some situations and reasons teens have told me they lie, or are especially tempted to lie:

  1. To hide something wrong he/she did.  Usually becaue the person thinks it’s more important, and OK to lie if it covers a bigger problem.
  2. To cover for a friend.  Usually because that teen thinks it’s worse to tell on a friend than lie.
  3. To protect or hide a personal interest.  Usually because he/she does not want a parent to know something.
  4. To avoid a lecture or punishment.
  5. Because he/she does not believe it is really a big deal.

Well, maybe you have thought or said some of these things to justify a lie.  Well, let me share a few thoughts God has on the matter (from the Bible).  Here are God’s words on the subject:

  1. Your lips should speak what is right (Proverbs 8:6-8).
  2. Speak the truth in love and not falsehood (Ephessians 4:15, 25).
  3. You shall not give false testimony = Don’t Lie (Exodus 20:16).
  4. He detests (hates) lying lips, but delights in men who speak the truth (Proverbs 12:22).
  5. All lying is of the devil.  He is the father of lies (John8:44).
  6. God will punish the one who lies (Proverbs 19:9).
  7. Your words are to build others up, not tear them down (Ephesians 4:29).

Although this is not all God says on the matter, His words do clearly address and counter the reasons and situations presented by teens that think lying is ok.  And, this includes the so called “white lie”.  No such thing. 

So, before you quickly speak, or intentionally speak, something that is not true, for whatever reason, it would be wise to remember what God says about lying, and choose to tell the truth. 

So is lying a sin?  Is it wrong?  based on God’s word – YES. 

And, for what it’s worth, your ability to gain the trust of another person is directly related to your ability to think, speak, and live the truth.  I challenge you today to commit to being a truth-teller…even if it is to your hurt.  Now is a good time to ask for God’s help – you will need it (we all do).

Andy Woodall
Andy Woodall served as the Pastor of Student Ministries at Faith from 1999-2012.